The Obama administration's response to yesterday's Supreme Court decision affirming the right of authorities to seek proof of legal residency when otherwise engaged with suspects has now made manifest Barack Obama's contempt for the rule of law. This is a legitimate election issue that the Romney camp should take up. It far transcends immigration and ethnic politics. Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times explains the response:
The Obama administration said Monday it is suspending existing agreements with Arizona police over enforcement of federal immigration laws, and said it has issued a directive telling federal authorities to decline many of the calls reporting illegal immigrants that the Homeland Security Department may get from Arizona police.
Administration officials, speaking on condition they not be named, told reporters they expect to see an increase in the number of calls they get fromArizona police - but that won't change President Obama's decision to limit whom the government actually tries to detain and deport.
"We will not be issuing detainers on individuals unless they clearly meet our defined priorities," one official said in a telephone briefing.
The official said that despite the increased number of calls, which presumably means more illegal immigrants being reported, the Homeland Security Department is unlikely to detain a significantly higher number of people and won't be boosting personnel to handle the new calls.
"We do not plan on putting additional staff on the ground in Arizona," the official said. (snip)
On Monday the administration officials also said they are ending the seven 287(g) task force agreements with Arizona law enforcement officials, which proactively had granted some local police the powers to enforce immigration laws.
Needless to say, ICE is about to be very busy processing claims for residence permits on the part of people who claim to have met the conditions for President Obama's suspension of the rule of law for younger illegal immigrants. In other words, law enforcement is too burdened to enforce the law because it is enabling the president's refusal to enforce the law.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has got it right. Via Fox Nation (Hat tip Gateway Pundit) :
"As though we needed any more evidence, President Obama has demonstrated anew his utter disregard for the safety and security of the Arizona people. Within the last two hours, I have been notified the Obama administration has revoked the 287(g) agreement under the authority of which Arizona law enforcement officers have partnered with the federal government in the enforcement of immigration law.
"Of course, it is no coincidence that this announcement comes immediately on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling upholding the constitutionality of the heart of Arizona's anti-illegal immigration law: SB 1070. It's worth noting that 68 law enforcement entities in 24 states have functioning 287(g) agreements with the federal government. But it appears the only agreements eliminated today were those in Arizona, the state that happens to be on the front lines of America's fight against illegal immigration. We are on our own, apparently.
"I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. The Obama administration has fought the people of Arizona at every turn - downplaying the threat that a porous border poses to our citizens, filing suit in order to block our State from protecting itself, unilaterally granting immunity to tens of thousands of illegal aliens living in our midst, and now this. Still, the disarmament of Arizona's 287(g) agreements is a new low, even for this administration.
"Since 2006, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security credits the 287(g) program with identifying nearly 300,000 potentially-removable aliens nationwide. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has trained and certified more than 1,500 state and local officers to assist in the enforcement of immigration law, including many in Arizona. In fact, even as the President was wiping out Arizona's 287(g) agreements, the ICE website itself continued to herald the collaborative approach of the 287(g) program, noting, 'Terrorism and criminal activity are most effectively combated through a multi-agency/multi-authority approach that encompasses federal, state and local resources, skills and expertise.'
"The President's action should be of concern to all Americans. This fight is not over. President Obama may disregard Congress. He may target individual states like Arizona. He may generally act with impunity. But he is not above judgment - and the American people will have theirs very soon."
I do not believe for a moment that the American people approve of a de facto presidential veto over enforcing the law. There have already been far too many instances of the Obama adminsitration ignoring laws it doesn't like, as for instance in the bankruptcy of Chrysler. Voters don't care much for the rights of bond holders, but they do care about letting illegals who anve come under suspicion for law breaking remain in this country.
C'mon Romney! man up and make the rule of law a campiagn issue.